Podcast: Heroes & Humans of Football
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Sportinfoto / Shutterstock
Sportinfoto / Shutterstock

Episode 1: Kylian Mbappé

In the heart of Bondy, Mbappé's upbringing unfolds—a tale of ambition, community, and family.

March 28, 2024
Heroes & Humans of Football (Podcast)
March 21, 2024

Episode 1: Kylian Mbappé

Tracing Kylian Mbappé’s path from the suburbs of Paris to the pinnacle of global football. With two decades living in Paris, Simon brings an insider's perspective to Mbappé's early life, highlighting the city's rich football culture that has nurtured talents like Pogba, Kanté, and Mahrez. 

The Paris region is the biggest talent pool in global football, ahead of Buenos Aires. To understand the essence of Mbappé, it is necessary to understand the role of Parisian banlieues and artificial fields, producing an unprecedented number of football stars. Yet, understanding the household that shaped his path is perhaps even more crucial.

In the heart of Bondy, Mbappé's upbringing unfolds—a tale of ambition, community, and family. His parents, Wilfrid and Fayza, pillars of their community, guided their son with a blend of strict education and footballing mentorship. From his father's coaching at AS Bondy, to listening to dressing-room tactical talks from age four, Mbappé's childhood was steeped in football, fostering an equally athletic and strategic mindset. 

Mbappé encountered broader social and political challenges, growing up as a black-Arab kid in the suburbs, against a backdrop of rising far-right sentiment in France. His early awareness of race and identity issues, alongside his family's careful navigation of fame and society’s expectations, paints a portrait of resilience and conscious ambition.

As Mbappé's talent becomes undeniable, every club wants to sign the kid. The family make the very canny choice that he’ll start his career at Monaco, where there’s a fast track to the first team and the club also employ teachers who can school him for the Baccalauréat – French equivalent of A-levels. Doing ‘le bac’ is non-negotiable for his parents. 

From his developmental years at Monaco to his record-breaking move to PSG, calculated decisions shaped his journey. Insights into Mbappé's personal growth, interactions with football legends, and his impact at the World Cup, provide a glimpse into his evolution from a promising talent to a global football icon.

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